The Queensland government has championed the European success of a strawberry variety originally developed in Australia.
Rubygem strawberries are having a 'major impact' on European markets, the government noted, having been initially developed in Queensland before being released to Turkish growers in 2006.
"Turkish shoppers are actually asking for it by name," said Mark Herrington, principal horticulturist and strawberry breeder at the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI). "This confirms Rubygem's reputation for reliability, quality and value for money, setting it apart from its competitors.
"About 10m punnets of Rubygem strawberries are now produced across Turkey," he added. "Turkish growers have been quick to recognise the Rubygem's appeal to consumers, which when combined with being a strong and disease-resistant plant, make it a very popular product."
Developed jointly by DEEDI, Horticulture Australia and Strawberries Australia Incorporated, the royalties from overseas production go straight back to Australia, with further big things expected of the variety both domestically and internationally.
"As well as Turkey, the Rubygem is now being exported to central Europe and Moscow markets," Herrington noted.